New global Anabaptist study to examine 'shared convictions'By Goshen College
GOSHEN, Ind. — A new Global Anabaptist Profile will shed light on the demographics of the rapidly growing worldwide Anabaptist family.
The Mennonite World Conference project is organized and funded by the Institute for the Study of Global Anabaptism at Goshen College.
It will be the first systematic study of how MWC’s “shared convictions” are finding expression among the 25 groups that are participating.
It also will create a digital library of testimonies from pastors and lay members of Mennonite and Brethren in Christ congregations around the world.
Organizers hope the Global Anabaptist Profile will be completed in time for the MWC assembly in Harrisburg, Pa., in July 2015.
Nearly 30 people from 18 countries gathered at Goshen College July 29-Aug. 2 to launch the project.
“The size of the Anabaptist-Mennonite global fellowship has nearly tripled in the past three decades, with most of the growth coming outside of Europe and North America,” said John D. Roth, director of the Institute for the Study of Global Anabaptism and secretary of MWC’s Faith and Life Commission.
“Yet we really don’t know very much about the lived experiences — the beliefs, practices and challenges — of our global body. We hope this project will provide a clearer understanding of who we are as a global family and deepen our sense of a shared identity.”
Roth said the project has been in development for nearly three years. In 2010 he participated in a gathering of international church leaders from 12 conferences to interpret the results of the Multi-Nation Anabaptist Profile, a study undertaken by Eastern Mennonite Missions.
“When I saw the energy generated in those conversations, I was convinced that MWC could benefit by a similar project that was more representative of its member groups and focused on its shared convictions,” Roth said.
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